There are a number of moving Holocaust memorials around Europe, but I thought this one in Budapest was particularly poignant. When the Nazis learned that Hungary was secretly negotiating peace accords with the U.S. and Britain in 1944, they moved in to occupy Budapest. Almost immediately, they began systematically lining up the city’s Jews along the this stretch of the Danube, shooting them, then dumping their bodies into the river.
Things didn’t get much better for Hungary once it was “liberated” by the Soviets. There’s a memorial in the city honoring the Soviet army for freeing Budapest from the Nazis. It was eventually put far behind a fence. It kept getting vandalized. I didn’t have time to tour it, but Budapest also has a museum called the “House of Terror” that documents life in Hungary under both regimes. A couple people I talked to who visited said there’s a video at the museum in which you can watch Hungarian troops change from Nazi uniforms into Soviet uniforms minutes after the Red Army moves in.